6.9/10
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21 user 9 critic

Torch Singer (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 8 September 1933 (USA)
When she can't support her illegitimate child, an abandoned young woman puts her up for adoption and pursues a career as a torch singer.

Writers:

(story "Mike"), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton
...
David Manners ...
Michael 'Mike' Gardner
Lyda Roberti ...
Dora Nichols
Baby LeRoy ...
Bobby, Dora's Baby at 1 Year (as Baby Le Roy)
...
Andrew 'Juddy' Judson
Sam Godfrey ...
Harry, Radio Announcer
Florence Roberts ...
Mother Angelica
Virginia Hammond ...
Mrs. Julia Judson
Mildred Washington ...
Carrie, Mimi's Maid
Cora Sue Collins ...
Sally at 5 Years
...
Miss Spaulding
Albert Conti ...
Carlotti
...
Agatha Alden
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Storyline

Sally Trent has an illegitimate child, but cannot support her and gives the baby up for adoption. The father, Michael Gardner, leaves for China not knowing about the baby, and she assumes he has abandoned her for life. She gets a job as a torch singer, changes her name to Mimi Benton, and becomes notorious for her drinking and philadering. Mimi fills in on a children's radio program as the character "Aunt Jenny," singing and telling bedtime stories, and eventually uses the airtime to find her long lost daughter, part with her wild lifestyle, and reunite with Michael. Written by sarasdano

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The worst woman in New York...sang the best love songs! Lips that had kissed more men than she could remember ...crooned lullabies no one could forget!

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Singer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Mimi Benton: [to her newborn daughter] Why couldn't you have been a boy? This world's such a tough place for a girl to come to.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love
(1933)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyric by Leo Robin
Played during the opening credits and at the end
Sung by Claudette Colbert at a nightclub
Reprised by Claudette Colbert at a nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Soapy Showcase For Colbert
18 April 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

An unwed TORCH SINGER uses her children's radio show to search for her illegitimate daughter.

Claudette Colbert has a fine time in this Pre-Code melodrama playing a distraught female who covers up for the necessary separation from her child by embracing a life of empty decadence. While highly fanciful--the heroine is both sultry nightclub chanteuse and kindly kiddy radio hostess--the plot is still most enjoyable, with Colbert wringing every bit of pathos from her character's plight.

Ricardo Cortez plays the refreshingly decent producer who assists Colbert to become a celebrity. David Manners ably plays her long-lost lover. Peppery Lydia Roberti is most enjoyable as a high-spirited young mother; her character is sorely missed when she disappears early in the film. Old Charley Grapewin adds some spark as the flirtatious breakfast cereal tycoon who sponsors Miss Colbert's radio show.

A quartet of character actresses lend able support in small roles: Florence Roberts as a sympathetic nun; Virginia Hammond as Grapewin's suspicious wife; Mildred Washington as Miss Colbert's energetic maid; and aristocratic Ethel Griffies as Manners' inflexible aunt. Baby LeRoy, nemesis of W.C. Fields, appears in only one scene as Miss Roberti's infant son.

Movie mavens will recognize unbilled Scots actress Margaret Mann as a nanny.


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